By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
AUBURN, Wash. -- Pacific Lutheran University saw it's 9-4 lead nearly evaporate in the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday, April 6, as Willamette University rallied to within 11-10 in the top of the seventh inning. The Bearcats had the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position when the game ended. The Lutes went on to win the second game, 8-3.
For the season, PLU is now 16-15, including 7-11 in the Northwest Conference. Willamette moved to 3-26 overall, 2-16 in the NWC.
Both games were played at Auburn Mountainview High School on Saturday. The series will conclude with a doubleheader on Sunday, April 7 on the PLU campus in Tacoma, Washington. The doubleheader is scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. (PDT).
"It was not the outcome we wanted," Willamette Head Coach Damian Williams said regarding the doubleheader, "but it's always fun to watch the team compete. I was most excited about our bunts and stolen bases today."
Willamette stole an impressive 10 bases in the opener. The Bearcats added five steals in the second game for 15 steals in the doubleheader. Jocelyn Glasgo (Jr., P, Rochester, WA/Tumwater HS) led the running efforts with three steals in each game. Payten Healy (Fr., SS, Crescent City, CA/Del Norte HS) stole five bases overall, including four in the first game.
Bearcats and Lutes Play High-Scoring Battle in Opener
In the first game, the teams combined for 31 hits in a high-scoring explosion. Pacific Lutheran amassed 17 hits. The Bearcats earned 14 hits and benefited from two PLU errors.
Pacific Lutheran took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Bailey Plumb singled as the leadoff batter. One out later, she stole second and scored on a triple by Kathryn Hatlen. A triple by Kennedy Robillard drove in Hatlen. Later, pinch-runner Khay Adachi-Kawamae scored on a two-out single by Erin McGrath.
The Bearcats responded with four runs in the top of the second to move in front 4-3. Cassie Cosler (Fr., 1B, Albany, OR/West Albany HS) struck out, but reached first on a wild pitch. Meghan Hook (Fr., C, Sunnyvale, CA/Homestead HS) singled and Sailor Mickey (Fr., 2B, Lake Oswego, OR/Lakeridge HS) provided a sacrifice bunt. Emily Bishop (Sr., OF, Maple Valley, WA/Tahoma HS/Pierce College) drove in two runs with a triple, and scored when the ball was misplayed. With two outs, Healy singled and stole second. Bailey Hillmick (So., DP/UT, Athena, OR/Weston-McEwen HS) earned an RBI single.
The Lutes surged into a 7-4 lead in the bottom of the second. Elise Freund singled in front of the plate, advanced on singles by Anna Overland and Plumb, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Becca Sorensen. Hatlen smacked a three-run homer to left center. After PLU added one run in the third and one in the fourth, the Bearcats plated three runs in the fifth to pull within 9-7. Providing key hits were Cosler with a two-run double and Sofia Magnani (Jr., P/OF, Belmont, CA/Notre Dame HS) with an RBI single. The Lutes led 11-7 after five innings.
Glasgo reached on a fielding error at second to start the sixth. She stole second and third. Healy walked just before a short rain delay. When play resumed, Healy stole second. Later, Glasgo scored on a sacrifice fly from Vanessa Almaraz (Jr., OF, Simi Valley, CA/Simi Valley HS). Healy crossed the plate on an infield single by Cosler to cut the margin to 11-9.
In the seventh, Bishop singled up the middle with one out. Kilani Fierstos (Fr., 2B, Redmond, OR/Redmond HS) pinch-ran. Glasgo singled, sending Fierstos to second. With two outs, Hillmick hit an RBI single to right center to drive in Fierstos. Hillmick stole second base, but PLU's Marley Dyer struck out Almaraz to end the game.
Hatlen was 3 for 3 with a single, a triple and a homer. She registered four RBIs and scored twice. Plumb, Robillard, Freund and Samantha Simundson each provided PLU with two hits. Hillmick went 3 for 3 at the plate for Willamette with two walks and two RBIs. Bishop was 3 of 5 with a triple, one run and two RBIs. Healy and Cosler recorded two his apiece.
PLU Limits Bearcats to Four Hits in Second Game
The Lutes used three pitchers in the second game, but allowed only four hits and three runs. Pacific Lutheran took a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the first inning and led 8-1 before the Bearcats plated two runs in the seventh.
With one out in the top of the first, Glasgo walked for WU just before a 26-minute rain delay. Afterward, Glasgo stole second, went to third on a wild pitch, and later scored on another wild pitch. In the bottom of the first, Pacific Lutheran scored two twice on wild pitches, once on a passed ball, and added the fourth run on an RBI single by Corina Jones.
Sorensen belted a solo inside-the-park homer down the left field line to give PLU a 5-1 advantage in the fourth inning. In the fifth, the Lutes scored one run on a throwing error and one on a single by Mari Foster. Hatlen added an RBI single in the sixth.
Hook tripled to start the seventh for the Bearcats. Mickey sent an RBI single into left field. With one out, Mickey stole second and reached third on a wild pitch. Glasgo walked to put runners at first and third. Healy hit an RBI single into cetnr and wen tot second on the throw. One out later, Almaraz walked to load the bases. Robillard went to the circle and forced a ground out to end the game.
Sorensen earned three of PLU's seven hits. She was 3 of 4 with a homer and three runs scored. Willamette's hits were a triple by Hook and singles from Healy, Almaraz and Sailor.
Big Moment of the Day for Willamette
Emily Bishop belted a two-run triple to right center in the
second inning of the first game to drive in Meghan Hook
and Cassie Cosler. When the ball was misplayed, Bishop
also scored to tie the game at 3-3. Bishop was 3 for 5 at
the plate during the game.